Oct 03 , 2018
The handyman business works great as a part-time business. The overhead is low and it only takes a few hours per week to generate a profit as long as you charge enough for your services.
So in this article, I’m going to break down the numbers to show you exactly how much you would need to charge in order to make an extra one thousand big ones each month while only working 5 hours per week total.
This is totally doable by the way. And I think it’s an excellent way to dip your toes in the water before you dive all the way in and go full time as a pro handyman.
Plus, $1,000 extra each month is nice. You can buy all kinds of fun stuff and experiences with that much moola.
Let’s dive into the math and get a realistic view of how to do this.
How to Make $1,000 Per Month In Just 5 Hours Per Week
First we need to figure out how many hours per month five hours per week equates to. So, let’s take 5 hrs and multiply that by 52, since there are 52 weeks in the year. Then, we’ll divide that number by 12 since there are 12 months in the year. That gives us 21.7 hours per month.
Now, many people might be tempted to just take $1,000 and divide it by 21.7, but it’s not that easy. If you did this you would get ~$46 per hour. But if you charge that much, you’d actually make much less than $1,000 per month because you aren’t accounting for taxes or expenses – a mistake I see happening way too often.
Just because your business generated $1,000 doesn’t mean you get to keep $1,000. I know that’s obvious to anybody who has been in business, but those who haven’t often don’t realize this.
So let’s do some better math that includes these basic expenses.
Since you are just operating part time on a small scale, there’s a good chance you can keep your expenses lower than you would if you went full time. Let’s say you already have your own tools and a vehicle you can use. At a minimum, you would still have the following expenses.
Very basic expenses for a lean part-time handyman business:
- Liability Insurance: $70-$100 per month (optional but a good idea)
- Vehicle Mileage and Gas: $75 per month
- Tools and Supplies: $40 per month
- City Business License: $300 per year = $25 per month
- Marketing Budget: $50 per month
Total Expenses: ~$260 per month (not too bad, eh?)
You’d also need to pay self-employment taxes – which at the time of writing this are 15.3% of your gross profits.
So assuming your expenses are $260 and you are in fact going to pay your taxes, how much would you need to charge?
Well, the math gets slightly more complicated, so I’m not going to break it down here. I’ll just tell you. (You can go to this article too see the math.)
You’d have to charge $66.39 per hour.
But…that still isn’t 100% correct.
That’s because if all you have is 5 hours per week to dedicate to your business, then there is zero chance that you will get paid for all 5 hours. You’ll have to spend time driving, picking up supplies, following up with customers, quoting jobs, and doing things like accounting.
Let’s say those business admin tasks take an average of 1.5 hours per week. That only leaves 3.5 hours per week to actually make money – which is 15.2 hours per month.
So if you spent a total of 21.7 hours working in your handyman business, you’d only bill customers for about 15.2 hours. Obviously that will vary, but it’s a good estimate to start with.
And, since you are working fewer hours, you’ll need to charge more in order to hit the $1k per month. Factoring in these admin tasks bumps your hourly rate from $66.39 to $94.78.
So that puts your target hourly rate at about $95 per hour. That’s how much you would need to charge if you only wanted to work 5 hours per week.
How to Make $95 Per Hour Doing Basic Handyman Services
To many who read this $95 per hour sounds like a lot, and it is. There are many handymen out there who make nowhere near that much – and as much as I try to teach them how, many still haven’t found me yet.
But I assure you it is totally doable.
The key to making $95 per hour isn’t to just charge $95 per hour. You’d probably get some resistance from customers with this rate depending on where you live and the type of services you are offering.
Instead, you’ll want to charge flat rate for as many services as possible. Sure, you may charge a lower hourly rate (for example $75 per hour) for certain jobs like I talk about in my pricing guide. But if you charge a flat rate for other services it can bump your average hourly rate to well above $95.
I’ll just give you a couple of examples of common jobs where you can make $100 or more per hour.
#1 – TV wall Mount – You can easily charge $100 to mount a TV and it usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.
#2 – Fence Repair – If you use the method I demonstrate in this video, you can make up to $200 per hour.
#3 – Door Repairs – There are several small door repair jobs that are easy to quote and can easily help you hit the $100/hr mark.
There are three examples and there are plenty more. I mean, you can clean gutters and make $150 per hour if you setup your business well. $95 per hour really isn’t that crazy once you get a handle on your pricing and marketing.
And the best way to increase your rates even further is to specialize like I talk about in this post. That allows you to become more efficient and able to provide more value to your customers in less time.
What Would a 5 Hr Work Week Actually Look Like?
In order to make $1,000 each month, you’d need need to make about $332 per week in income from labor.
That could be accomplished with just one fence repair on the weekend. Or, by doing three TV wall mount installs throughout the week after work.
Or, a couple of door repairs on a Saturday morning. This would allow you to start your business and still have a life outside of work. Huge bonus.
I’m not here to sugar coat things or make them look easier than they are. So here’s a reality check.
First, In order to reach this point you’ll need to invest some time and effort setting up your business. While there may be some people who will fill their 5 hours per week by simply throwing up a few craigslist ads or posting to their friends on facebook, for most people it won’t happen instantly.
Second, in order to hit the $100 per hour range you’ll almost certainly have to do some decent marketing. At a minimum you’ll want to build a website and get some reviews on websites like Thumbtack or Yelp.
And third, you’ll want to have a strong enough lead flow (jobs coming in) to where you could be somewhat picky about the kind of jobs you take on. Otherwise you might find yourself driving too far or doing unprofitable jobs like painting – which would reduce your profits substantially.
I think these are minor inconveniences, but I did want to mention them since they will take time and effort to solve.
Taking Your Business Full Time
The great thing about starting your business part-time is that when you’re ready to go full time it’s just a matter of scaling up what you’ve already created.
So here’s how the math is likely to work out once you go full time.
Hours invested might go from 5 to 40 hours per week, where you’ll provide handyman services for approximately 28 hours per week.
Monthly expenses would likely jump from $260 to ~$1700 per month.
Here’s the cool part. If you can maintain the same hourly rate of ~$95 per hour, your income will jump from $12,000 per year to $100,000 per year.
So by starting out with the goal of making $1,000 per month in 5 hours per week, you will essentially create the framework for a six-figure handyman business. That amount will easily replace the income from most desk jobs.
If you’ve been thinking of starting a business for a while now and just haven’t pulled the trigger, hopefully this article will nudge you in the direction to give it a try. And when you’re ready to start a profitable handyman business, my complete step-by-step guide is right here waiting for you.